Designing a Wizard

Avoid unnecessary complexity: You can add unlimited instructions, forms, feedback, evaluation, and other features to each page of a wizard. You can also create an unlimited number of pages, categories, and subcategories. As a result, it's possible to make a wizard overly complex and difficult or burdensome to use. Remember this: You do not have to use every element and feature at every opportunity. If something seems to have little or no value at any point, leave it out.

Wizards can be very simple or quite complex. For all but the most straightforward situations, we recommend that you design your wizard before creating it in Sakai. To design a wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Analyze the activity or process that the wizard will support. Identify the type of wizard that will best support it.
  2. If you plan to create a hierarchical wizard, identify the categories and subcategories you will need. You may want to consider creating a category for each distinct path or grouping of activities. You may find it helpful to draw a high-level diagram of the wizard's organization.
  3. Identify the pages you will need. You may want to consider creating a page for each step that requires different guidance, produces a different work product, or takes place at a different time.
  4. Identify the content needed (instructions, files, forms, etc.) for each page and - if the wizard contains more than one page - for the wizard as a whole. You may find it helpful to draw a diagram showing the organization of the wizard's components.
  5. If you plan to attach files to provide information to users of the wizard, create those files and store them in Resources.
  6. Identify the points at which formative and summative feedback are needed. You may allow for feedback on the wizard as a whole or on a page-by-page basis. Before making decisions in this regard, think carefully about the load placed on reviewers (those who provide formative feedback) and evaluators (those who provide summative feedback). Also, keep in mind that after a page or a wizard has been submitted for evaluation, participants can no longer change it.
  7. Identify people to provide formative and summative feedback. Be sure they have appropriate permissions. For more information on setting permissions for reviewers, see "Changing Permissions for the Wizards Tool".
  8. If you plan to use forms for users to use in responding to instructions on a wizard page and/or for collecting comments from reviewers and evaluators, create those forms and store the .xsd files for them in Resources. Forms for collecting reflections and feedback comments may be added to the wizard as a whole or to individual pages. Forms for participants to use in following the instructions for completing a wizard can be added only to individual pages, not to the wizard as a whole.
  9. Choose the style(s) you want to use in the wizard. In most cases, it is good practice to use a single style throughout a wizard. If you plan to use a style other than the default, store the .css file for it in Resources and use the Styles tool to create the style.